By Scott Young, president of PennComp LLC
Effective processing and analysis of data can unlock exciting new business opportunities, improve operational efficiency thresholds and help businesses offer captivating user experiences. There’s a hitch in many digital transformation plans, though. As data volumes continue to increase exponentially, companies not only need effective solutions to securely process and handle the increased data load, but also get the processing done under the severe time constraints that real time use cases such as autonomous vehicles pose. Edge computing will be key to answering those challenges and unlocking the potential for digital transformation.
Edge computing can be broadly understood as the allocation of computing resources at or very close to the nodes of data production. This ideally puts compute and storage at the same point as the data source at the network edge, resulting in lower latency, cost, and reduced bandwidth issues to meet the high performance, real-time data processing demands of 5G and IoT applications across industry verticals.
Edge computing has evolved as a suitable architecture for the distributed computing framework. While decentralization Is hardly a new concept, it has proved tricky to implement in a network architecture scenario with the same level of monitoring and control as traditional centralized computing models. But decentralized computing offers effective solutions to many of the burgeoning network problems that companies are facing.
Why is Edge Computing Necessary?
Edge computing is increasingly proving critical to maintain optimum performance for massive data loads generated by cloud-based applications and services while adhering to data regulation demands. As demands for instantaneous service surge from end users, cloud computing may fall short of the increased time sensitivity demands in processing. The critical need for improved efficiency and performance in cloud computing is particularly pronounced in the case of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that need high bandwidth, low latency, and reliable performance while adhering to all necessary regulatory and compliance frameworks.
Edge computing and 5G possibilities
5G wireless technologies have been a game changer for faster real-time processing needs of companies trying to bring IoT applications and services out into the market as quickly as possible. But this is not only due to the high bandwidth and low latency offered by 5G. Industry-specific solutions devised by wireless carriers are now often infused with functional edge computing technologies rolled into their 5G deployments. Edge computing has proved useful not only in ensuring optimum performance and processing speed required for real-time processing, but has also proved to offer a more secure processing framework. In fact, wireless carriers are taking things a step further in offering licensed edge services wherein edge nodes can be offered ‘live’ virtually anywhere near an edge deployment site, thanks to 5G’s network slicing feature. This enables wireless carriers to offer instant provisioning of connectivity using some of the available sliced spectrum. In fact, we are already seeing increased collaboration between cloud hyperscalers like Amazon and Microsoft and major wireless ISPs to enable widespread applications of mobile edge services.
Why edge computing matters to networking
It’s unlikely that anyone familiar with computer networking has not come across bandwidth issues. This is especially true in the case of wireless networks. Increasing network bandwidth is often cost intensive with finite limits on extended capacity. The problem of network congestion also gives rise to delays in data movement resulting in minor to severe latency that may severely cripple a network’s capability to address real-time application needs. Delays in analytics-based processing can have impacts ranging from frustratingly slow user experience or massive production impact on smart factory floors or even result in lost lives in the case of autonomous vehicles. Congestion in the network can also result in time-consuming data retransmission or complete network outages. Edge computing helps address network limitations through the deployment of servers and storage at or near the point of data generation. Edge networks have the capability to operate many devices over a significantly smaller LAN where local devices can enjoy exclusive and ample bandwidth, which makes issues such as latency and congestion redundant. The local storage securely collects the raw data, and local servers have enough processing capabilities to perform initial or essential edge analytics that are ample for real-time decision making. Essential data can then be transferred to a central data center if required.
Benefits of edge computing implementation
While edge computing has become a buzzword nearly as pervasive as IoT, it does offer compelling benefits to companies reliant on heavy or proficient data processing. While most companies now offer connected devices or services, many are yet to accrue the total or even partial benefit of the data generated by those devices. Effective processing and analysis of such data can unlock exciting new business opportunities, improve operational efficiency thresholds and help you ensure captivating user experiences. Analysing data locally has great benefits for performance acceleration and enhanced security of your data.
In fact potential benefits are only limited by your limits to crafting a well-considered approach towards edge computing. Effective edge computing models with predefined policies can help you keep workloads up-to-date, deploy applications at edge sites without hassle, ensure data privacy, afford a greater degree of flexibility for evolving networking needs and stick rigorously to relevant data storage rules and regulations.
Cloud edge, IoT edge or mobile edge computing implementation can help your business achieve:
– Improved ability to scale on demand with efficient management of software distribution at a massive scale
– Reduced complexity in your edge computing infrastructure, achieve significant cost savings with improved network efficiency and deploy software at points of need
– Improved security posture through better visibility across your network, easier governance structures and policy enforcement across your enterprise. Read more about how edge deployments can help keep your organization’s data secure in this article.
If you are seriously considering edge deployment in your organization you should take care two find a reliable partner with relevant and deep industry expertise in edge strategy and deployment. For edge deployment, you should be on the lookout for a service provider with a dedicated multi-cloud platform that can guarantee improvements in scalability, performance and security. Moreover, as companies try to keep up with the evolving data regulations globally, many companies might find themselves in need of local storage that cloud computing may not support. Local IT support firms would have expertise in edge deployments that can help keep data storage compliant with relevant regulations. Also, organizations such as Cloud Computing Houston can be a great resource to start looking into edge deployments at your company.
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